Trump Admin Has Yet To Disclose COVID Loan Recipients, Including Churches
The Trump administration is resisting calls by advocacy groups to release a list of organizations that received aid in the form of paycheck protection loans in light of the coronavirus pandemic, reported Deseret News.
- The Small Business Administration’s paycheck protection program “offers forgivable loans of up to $10 million to businesses with fewer than 500 employees.”
- Typically, nonprofits, including churches, are ineligible for government-backed small business loans, “but the Trump administration made an exception in its COVID-19 relief efforts.”
- “Federal officials announced at the beginning of April that they were waiving traditional loan restrictions and allowing churches to compete for COVID-19 relief funds,” which has led to the relationship between the government and religion being questioned.
- Advocacy groups such as American Atheists are pushing for transparency about the participation of religious institutions in this program, as they want to “determine if the government privileged certain religious applicants or used taxpayer money in inappropriate ways.”
This pushback has yielded some results, as “the Trump administration said Friday that it would identify companies who received more than $150,000 in stimulus funds,” but many argue that this is still not enough “to get a clear picture of how COVID-19 stimulus funds were used.”